DENVER – Ryan Smyth, Milan Hejduk and Wojtek Wolski scored shootout goals for Colorado, and goalie Peter Budaj stopped Clarke MacArthur on Buffalo’s last chance in the shootout to give the Avalanche a 2-1 win over the Sabres on Saturday night.
Ales Kotalik and Derek Roy scored shootout goals for the Sabres. Budaj made 29 saves for the Avalanche, who have won five straight after losing their first three games.
Sabres forward Daniel Paille and Avalanche defenceman Jordan Leopold scored in regulation.
Ryan Miller, who brought a 5-0-0 record and a 1.74 goals-against average into the game, stopped 28 shots for Buffalo. At 6-0-2, the Sabres are still unbeaten in regulation.
Miller strengthened his stats with a strong performance against the Avalanche, who were averaging an NHL-best four goals a game coming in.
Miller withstood a hard charge for most of the third period, and his best stop came when he made a diving glove save on Hejduk on a Colorado power play early in the third period.
Later in the third, he made a left pad save on David Jones, who was alone in front of the net after a faceoff in the Buffalo zone.
A few minutes later, Leopold tied the game when his shot from the point went off of two Sabres players and past Miller with 6:24 left in regulation.
The Avalanche controlled the play early in the second period, producing three scoring chances and their first power-play opportunity of the night.
Colorado couldn’t cash in on the advantage, but Paille did a few minutes after the Sabres killed off Clark MacArthur’s slashing penalty. Paille redirected a pass from Tony Lydman that trickled through the legs of Budaj midway through the game.
Notes: Avalanche D Adam Foote left the game early in the first period after getting hit with a shot on the right leg. He returned later in the period. … Sabres D Henrik Tallinder suffered a lower back injury in the first period and did not return. … Avalanche C Paul Stastny failed to register a point for the first time this season. His seven-game points streak to start the season was the longest in franchise history since Joe Sakic scored in Colorado’s first eight games at the start of the 1999-2000 campaign.